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June 10, 2013

Countdown to Labor Day: 84



The countdown to the start of the 2013 season is under way, as Pitt is 84 days away from its Labor Day opener against Florida State at Heinz Field. Panther-Lair.com is counting down the days until the biggest season opener in recent memory.

Today's number is 84, so we're looking Pitt in the Pro Bowl.

Pitt has a pretty long tradition of sending players to the NFL. 264 Panthers have been drafted in total, and 23 have been first-round draft picks. Pitt players have made 56 appearances in the Super Bowl, and the lengthy list of former Panthers who have played in the NFL stretches from Ed Adamchik (a center with the New York Giants and Pittsburgh Steelers in 1965) to Joe Zombek (a defensive end for the Steelers in 1954).

As it stands now, three former Pitt players stand among the best at their position in the NFL. Of course, we're talking about Arizona Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald, Philadelphia Eagles running back LeSean McCoy, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Darrelle Revis, and those three are also on the list featured in today's countdown.

Former Pitt players have been named to the Pro Bowl - the NFL's all-star game - 84 times. The first Pro Bowl was held on January 24, 1971; with 84 appearances in 42 Pro Bowls, Pitt has averaged two representatives per year.

Minnesota Vikings kicker Fred Cox was the first Panther to make the Pro Bowl, earning the honors after the 1971 season; 16 years later, Pitt would hit its high-water mark with six Pro Bowl representatives. The 1987 Pro Bowl featured Miami Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino, New Orleans Saints linebacker Rickey Jackson, Atlanta Falcons guard Bill Fralic, Washington Redskins guard Russ Grimm, Chicago Bears guard Jimbo Covert, and Kansas City Chiefs nose tackle Bill Maas.

1986 was a good year for Pitt in the Pro Bowl, too, as five former Panthers - Marino, Jackson, Grimm, Covert, and San Francisco 49ers safety Carlton Williamson - were selected, and in Pitt's run from 1984-88 Pitt put 24 players in the Pro Bowl (an average of just under five selections per year).

Marino and guard Ruben Brown (of the Buffalo Bills and Chicago Bears) claim more Pro Bowl selections than any other former Panther with nine appearances each. Defensive end Chris Doleman (Minnesota Vikings, Atlanta Falcons, and San Francisco 49ers) was selected eight times, and Fitzgerald earned his seventh selection this past February.

Here's the full list of Pitt Pro Bowl selections:

Ruben Brown - 9 (Buffalo: 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004; Chicago: 2007)
Dan Marino - 9 (Miami: 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1992, 1993, 1995, 1996)
Chris Doleman - 8 (Minnesota: 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1994; Atlanta: 1996; San Francisco: 1998)
Larry Fitzgerald - 7 (Arizona: 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013)
Rickey Jackson - 6 (New Orleans: 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1993, 1994)
Curtis Martin - 5 (New England: 1996, 1997; New York Jets: 1999, 2002, 2005)
Mark Stepnoski - 5 (Dallas: 1993, 1994, 1995; Houston: 1996, 1997)
Tony Dorsett - 4 (Dallas: 1979, 1982, 1983, 1984)
Bill Fralic - 4 (Atlanta: 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990)
Russ Grimm - 4 (Washington: 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987)
Darrelle Revis - 4 (New York Jets: 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012)
Jeff Christy - 3 (Minnesota: 1999, 2000; Tampa Bay: 2001)
Andy Lee - 3 (San Francisco: 2008, 2010, 2012)
Jimbo Covert - 2 (Chicago: 1986, 1987)
Hugh Green - 2 (Tampa Bay: 1983, 1984)
Bill Maas - 2 (Kansas City: 1987, 1988)
Carlton Williamson - 2 (San Francisco: 1985, 1986)
Fred Cox - 1 (Minnesota: 1971)
Sean Gilbert - 1 (Los Angeles Rams: 1994)
Craig Heyward - 1 (Atlanta: 1996)
Mark May - 1 (Washington: 1989)
LeSean McCoy - 1 (Philadelphia: 2012)

And here is the list of Pitt Pro Bowl appearances by year:

1987 - 6 (Covert, Bill Fralic, Grimm, Jackson, Bill Maas, Marino)
1984 - 5 (Dorsett, Green, Russ Grimm, Rickey Jackson, Dan Marino)
1986 - 5 (Jimbo Covert, Grimm, Jackson, Marino, Williamson)
1996 - 5 (Doleman, Craig Heyward, Marino, Curtis Martin, Stepnoski)
1985 - 4 (Grimm, Jackson, Marino, Carlton Williamson)
1988 - 4 (Chris Doleman, Fralic, Maas, Marino)
1993 - 4 (Doleman, Jackson, Marino, Mark Stepnoski)
1994 - 4 (Doleman, Sean Gilbert, Jackson, Stepnoski)
2012 - 4 (Fitzgerald, Lee, LeSean McCoy, Revis)
1989 - 3 (Doleman, Fralic, Mark May)
1997 - 3 (Ruben Brown, Martin, Stepnoski)
1999 - 3 (Brown, Jeff Christy, Martin)
2010 - 3 (Fitzgerald, Lee, Revis)
1983 - 2 (Dorsett, Hugh Green)
1990 - 2 (Doleman, Fralic)
1995 - 2 (Marino, Stepnoski)
1998 - 2 (Brown, Doleman)
2000 - 2 (Brown, Christy)
2001 - 2 (Brown, Christy)
2002 - 2 (Brown, Martin)
2008 - 2 (Fitzgerald, Andy Lee)
2009 - 2 (Fitzgerald, Darrelle Revis)
2011 - 2 (Fitzgerald, Revis)
1971 - 1 (Fred Cox)
1979 - 1 (Tony Dorsett)
1982 - 1 (Dorsett)
1991 - 1 (Doleman)
1992 - 1 (Marino)
2003 - 1 (Brown)
2004 - 1 (Brown)
2005 - 1 (Martin)
2006 - 1 (Larry Fitzgerald)
2007 - 1 (Brown)
2013 - 1 (Fitzgerald)



Countdown: 85 - A play that will never be matched
Countdown: 86 - A long but unfulfilled play
Countdown: 87 - The final year of Ironhead
Countdown: 88 - Pitt's All-American tradition
Countdown: 89 - Iron Mike
Countdown: 90 - The four 9-0's
Countdown: 91 - The two longest plays in Pitt history
Countdown: 92 - The senior year of the most productive QB in Pitt history
Countdown: 93 - The only 9-3 season in Pitt history
Countdown: 94 - The statistical oddity of 1994
Countdown: 95 - A relentless player and his dominant season
Countdown: 96 - The biggest win in Pitt history
Countdown: 97 - A dominant current Panther
Countdown: 98 - A transition year
Countdown: 99 - Hugh Green
Countdown: 100 - A look at Pitt in 1913





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